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 Of the four divisions into which the Keltiberians are separated, the most powerful are the Aruaci, situated to the east and south, near to the Carpetani and the sources of the Tagus. Their most renowned city is Numantia. They showed their valour in the war of twenty years, waged by the Keltiberians against the Romans; for many armies of the Romans, together with their generals, were destroyed; and in the end the Numantians, besieged within their city, endured the famine with constancy, till, reduced to a very small number, they were compelled to surrender the place. The Lusones are also situated to the east, and likewise border on the sources of the Tagus. Segeda and Pallantia1 are cities of the Aru- aci. Numantia is distant from Cæsar Augusta,2 situated as we have said upon the Ebro, about 800 stadia. Near to Segobriga and Bilbilis,3 likewise cities of the Keltiberians, was fought the battle between Metellus and Sertorius. Polybius, describing the people and countries of the Vaccæi and Keltiberians, enumerates Segesama4 and Intercatia amongst their other cities. Posidonius tells us that Marcus Marcellus exacted of Keltiberia a tribute of 600 talents, which proves that the Keltiberians were a numerous and wealthy people, notwithstanding the little fertility of their country. Polybius narrates that Tiberius Gracchus destroyed 300 cities of the Keltiberians. This Posidonius ridicules, and asserts that to flatter Gracchus, Polybius described as cities the towers such as are exhibited in the triumphal processions.5 This is not incredible; for both generals and historians easily fall into this species of deception, by exaggerating their doings. Those who assert that Iberia contained more than a thousand cities, seem to me to have been carried away in a similar manner, and to have denominated as cities what were merely large villages; since, from its very nature, this country is incapable of maintaining so many cities, on account of its sterility, wildness, and its out-of-the-way position. Nor, with the exception of those who dwell along the shores of the Mediterranean, is any such statement confirmed by the mode of life or actions of the inhabitants. The inhabitants of the villages, who constitute the majority of the Iberians, are quite uncivilized. Even the cities cannot very easily refine the manners [of their inhabitants], as the neighbouring woods are full of robbers, waiting only an opportunity to inflict injury on the citizens.
4 Sasamo, west of Briviesca.
5 Allusion is here made to the custom of the Roman generals, who caused to be carried at their triumphs, representations in painting or sculpture, not only of the kings or generals of the enemy, who had been slain, but likewise of the forts, cities, mountains, lakes, rivers, and even seas, conquered from the enemy. This usage explains the words of Cicero, ‘portari in triumpho Massiliam vidimus.’ Appian, on occasion of the triumph of Scipio, says, πυργοι τε παοͅαφεοͅνται μιμὴατα τῶν εἰλημμένων πὀλεων.
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